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to provide a voice of the world. last week's european council agreed the overall limit on eu spending for the next seven years, starting in 2014. been agreed in the past, spending has gone up, but last week we agreed that spending should come down. by working with like-minded allies, we delivered a real- terms cut in what brussels can spend for the first time in history. as the house knows, the eu budget is negotiated annually, so what we were negotiating -- initially at the council last november and again last week -- was not the individual annual budgets, but rather the overall framework for the next seven years. this includes the overall ceilings on what can be spent -- effectively, the limit on the european union's credit card for the next seven years. during the last negotiation, which covered the period 2007 to 2013, the last government agreed to an 8% increase in the payments ceiling, to 943 billion. put simply, this gave the eu a credit card with a higher limit, and today we are still living with the results of allowing the eu's big spenders to push for more and more spending
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